segunda-feira, 31 de dezembro de 2007

Fundos Soberanos, a nova onda de mega-aquisições - Parte I

Este post introduz os novos fundos soberanos que pertencem a nações ou paises e tem o objetivo de diversificar as reservas cambiais, mas também atuar politicamente adquirindo ativos estratégicos para o país comprador. O maior obviamente é o do Banco Central Chinês, que resolveu diversificar seu um trilhão de dólares reservas. Esse artigo, reproduzido do WSJ fala sobre como a China esta investindo em empresas americanas de peso e gerando forte resistência política nos EUA. O assunto foi trazido por Patrick Victor Lee, de NY.

Great Wall Street of China
By RICK CAREW in Beijing, LAURA SANTINI in Hong Kong and JAMES T. AREDDY in ShanghaiDecember 20, 2007;

Beijing's plan to invest $5 billion in Morgan Stanley caps a milestone year for China's deal makers: For the first time, Chinese companies and the government bought more overseas than foreign buyers have invested in China.
Chinese buyers have spent $29.2 billion acquiring foreign companies so far this year, while investors from the rest of the world have bought $21.5 billion of Chinese companies, according to Thomson Financial.
The investment in Morgan Stanley will give state-run China Investment Corp. -- a sovereign-wealth fund, essentially the government's money pile -- as much as 9.9% of the Wall Street giant.
It is the latest in a string of bailouts of financial giants by foreign investors as the firms struggle with souring mortgage-related investments. Indeed, yesterday Morgan Stanley reported a $9.4 billion write-down for its fiscal fourth quarter on its U.S. subprime and other mortgage investments.
Citigroup Inc. and UBS AG received sizable help from Middle Eastern and Singaporean investors in recent weeks. Wall Street firm Bear Stearns Cos. agreed in October to swap $1 billion investments with China's Citic Securities Co.
The question now is, are these investors the smart or the dumb money? Historically, foreigners are the suckers who allow the locals to sell out at the market's peak.
Already, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which invested $7.5 billion in Citigroup, told executives at the bank that it wasn't pleased by Citigroup's move to bring $49 billion in assets onto its balance sheet, people familiar with the matter said. The investor also expressed concern that Citigroup might have to raise more capital, potentially diluting its investment.
A person aware of the matter said Citigroup's relationship with Abu Dhabi remains good and that Abu Dhabi officials didn't disagree with the bank's actions.
And there has been a political backlash in China against the government fund's $3 billion investment in Blackstone Group LP's initial public offering, a high-water mark for the private-equity boom. Since then, Blackstone shares have lost more than a fifth of their value, erasing $633 million in the paper value of China's investment.
Consequently, CIC's senior managers emphasized they were looking to take a slower, more passive approach. Only last week, CIC started the selection process for money managers to funnel some of the $67 billion they have allocated from the $200 billion fund for overseas investment into global equity markets.
But then, the fund seized the opportunity to make the Morgan Stanley investment, an aggressive move at a time when Wall Street banks look more like distressed assets.
"This deal is a big surprise," said Stephen Green, a senior economist at Standard Chartered in Shanghai. "The U.S. subprime crisis created an opportunity, and they jumped at it." For CIC, the deal with Morgan Stanley, its second-largest overseas investment, could provide access to expertise the giant fund is keen to acquire.
Following widespread domestic criticism over the Blackstone loss, CIC characterizes itself as a "passive investor" and will have no representation on Morgan's board. That is likely meant to address concerns over political sensitivities surrounding China's investment in a blue-chip Wall Street firm.
Two years ago, strong political opposition in Congress derailed a bid by Chinese oil company Cnooc Ltd. for Unocal Corp., of California. Since then, Chinese firms have shied away from efforts to buy majority stakes in big U.S. companies.
Still, the sheer size of China's investment in Morgan Stanley will likely give it clout.
Days before Charles Prince decided to step down as Citigroup CEO amid massive credit-market losses, he had lost the support of a longtime backer, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, described similarly as a passive investor in Citigroup.

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